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L.A. Dodgers trade Bradley to Oakland

L.A. Dodgers trade Bradley to Oakland

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NEW YORK - Convinced that Milton Bradley couldn't return to the Dodgers, Los Angeles traded the temperamental outfielder to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

Los Angeles also sent infielder Antonio Perez to Oakland and will receive outfielder Andre Ethier, the Texas League player of the year.

"I couldn't be happier," Bradley said. "I'm playing major league baseball and having fun. I'm a California guy - it's exciting for me. I wish the Dodgers well, wish their team well."

Bradley didn't play after accusing teammate Jeff Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with African-American players on Aug. 23. The following day, Bradley learned he had sustained serious injuries to his left knee that required surgery.

"I went into it with the idea of trying to keep him a Dodger," new Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "It was clearer and clearer there was no way to make this thing work. At every turn, I just got stopped."

The 27-year-old Bradley hit .290 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs in 283 at-bats.

The Chicago White Sox, fresh off a World Series championship built largely around stellar starters, were talking to the Arizona Diamondbacks about acquiring pitcher Javy Vazquez, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Also, the Kansas City Royals were pursuing free-agent first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, the Gold Glove first baseman known for taking the ball from the final out of Boston's World Series win in 2004.

"We definitely have an interest and we are pursuing it," Kansas City general manager Allard Baird said. "I do not get the feeling that anything is imminent."

Alex Rodriguez said he probably will play for the Dominican Republic in next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic rather than the United States.

"That seems to be pretty much where I'm leaning," Rodriguez said of the Dominican team during an interview on WFAN radio. "I think it's going to be the team I'm going to represent, kind of like what [Mike] Piazza's doing with Italy."

Rodriguez also addressed the possibility that the Yankees would sign free agent Nomar Garciaparra to play alongside A-Rod and Derek Jeter.

"That would be kind of weird," A-Rod said. "I remember almost 10 years ago we made the cover of GQ, us three as the premier shortstops in the game coming up. And now all of us may be in the same infield. I think that's kind of funny."

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. agreed to play for the United States if he is picked. His father, Ken Griffey Sr., will be the first-base coach for the U.S. team during the 16-team tournament, to be played from March 3-20.

Arizona agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Jason Grimsley worth about $825,000.

Several deals made during last week's winter meetings were finalized, including Washington's acquisition of Alfonso Soriano from Texas for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge and right-hander Armando Galarraga.

Washington already has an All-Star second baseman, Jose Vidro, and Soriano has resisted previous attempts to move to the outfield. General manager Jim Bowden said he had yet to speak to Soriano about his role with the Nationals.

"He's such a great athlete that he's able to play other positions," Bowden said. "He could play center, he could play left. Winning players always care about the name on the front of the jersey more than the name on the back of the jersey."

After completing his $27.5 million, four-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles, catcher Ramon Hernandez expressed optimism about spending the next four years with Miguel Tejada as a teammate.

"I'm excited, he's excited that we're going to play be together again. We played in Oakland for almost five years," Hernandez said. "He's like, 'You're going to like it. Great people, great teammates, great organization."'

Baltimore is working to get the shortstop to back off his trade request. Angered over the team's inability to improve its pitching during the offseason, Tejada has suggested the best thing for him "will be a change of scenery."

"All of us here are saying the same thing: Miguel wants to win, we want to win," Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan said. "He was talking about a No. 1 starter, and we want to do more than that. I think as we go down the road we intend to do things to improve the club, and as we get there, we'll both be able to smile at the end of it."

The White Sox finalized their deal to acquire infielder Rob Mackowiak from Pittsburgh for left-hander Damaso Marte.

"That's what you dream of," Mackowiak said. "Being in Pittsburgh, we haven't had an opportunity. We've had 13 losing seasons in a row, so we haven't had a lot of opportunities to play meaningful games."

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